A dramatic late penalty save by Liam Reddy has secured Perth a 2-2 draw against Wellington in an A-League thriller at Auckland's Eden Park.
A dramatic penalty save by veteran goalkeeper Liam Reddy has secured Perth Glory a 2-2 draw in an A-League thriller against Wellington in Auckland.
Reddy denied Phoenix captain Ulises Davila after the Phoenix had been awarded a spot kick in the 88th minute when Nicholas D'Agostino felled Cameron Devlin.
The result leaves both teams' finals hopes hanging by a thread with Wellington seventh on the ladder, a point behind Macarthur FC with one match to play.
Perth are three points outside the top six in eighth place, with two matches left to play.
Playing at Eden Park in front of a bumper crowd of 22,223 fans, the Phoenix thought they had secured an early penalty when Tim Payne went down inside the box under pressure from Kosuke Ota in just the second minute.
Referee Alex King awarded the spot kick but after a lengthy VAR review reversed his decision.
The home team hit the front midway through the opening half when Israeli striker Tomer Hemed found space inside the box and slammed home Louis Fenton's cutback for his 10th goal of the season.
Perth coach Richard Garcia turned to Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli in the second half and when Diego Castro released the substitute in the 61st minute he made no mistake to level the scores.
The Glory's comeback was then complete 14 minutes later when youngster Callum Timmins curled home a sensational 25-metre effort for his first A-League goal.
The Phoenix weren't done however with Davila coming off the bench to mark his return from a hamstring injury and having an instant impact when he found Jaushua Sotirio and the Wellington winger stroked the ball past Reddy from the edge of the area to equalise.
Wellington surged home for a winner in the dying minutes and thought they'd done enough when Devlin won his penalty only for Reddy's heroics to deny the home team.
In a furious closing few minutes, the Phoenix poured forward and had multiple appeals for another spot kick.
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay believed a penalty appeal for a challenge on Fenton should have been awarded, admitting the result may well prove terminal to their finals' chances.
"We went out today with an opportunity to get three points and try to make the top six," he said.
"It's disappointing. I thought we started off well. We took a good lead with a good goal.
"At the end of the day they've played three games in eight days. They worked hard to get themselves back into the game and at the end we had an opportunity to win it."
The Glory return to Australia to face Brisbane on Wednesday and Garcia was happy to leave New Zealand with a point and finals still a possibility.
"We just need to go to the next two games with a positive attitude and take all the points," the ex-Socceroo said.
"It was a fantastic effort tonight by the team. It's not an easy trip to come all this way."